November 19, 2013 — Over 300 Harvard School of Public Health alumni, students, faculty, and guests, from a dozen countries and 29 U.S. states, came back to campus to celebrate Alumni Weekend on November 2-4. More alumni than ever returned to the festivities in the School’s Centennial year, as the weekend also coincided with the American Public Health Association (APHA)’s annual meeting taking place in Boston.
Seventy attendees took advantage of the opportunity to learn practical skills for their public health careers from Barry Dorn, SM ’04, associate director of the Program for Health Care Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and Leonard Marcus, founding co-director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. Dorn and Marcus led an interactive workshop on the five dimensions of Meta-Leadership for Public Health Practice, a concept that means reaching above and beyond one’s scope of authority to forge ties across disciplines and bureaucracies.
In celebration of the School’s Centennial, guests attended a dinner at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Alumni enjoyed the spectacular view of Boston’s waterfront while they watched multimedia presentations of the School’s accomplishments, and heard a presentation from HSPH Dean Julio Frenk on “Leading the Global Health Revolution in the 21st Century.”
Over dinner, the Alumni Association honored three individuals, chosen by their peers to receive the 2013 Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Award of Merit — the highest honor presented to an alumna/us. Marc Schenker, MPH ’80, distinguished professor, Department of Public Health Sciences at University of California at Davis; Debra Silverman, SD ’81, chief, Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch of the National Cancer Institute; and Eiji Yano, MPH ’84, founding dean and professor at Teikyo University Graduate School of Public Health were recognized for their distinguished careers in public health.
Additional alumni awards, which recognize achievements in various arenas of public health and at various stages in public health careers, were presented earlier in the day. The recipients were Kelechi Ohiri, MPH ’02, SM ’03 (Emerging Public Health Professional Award), Adam Finkel, AB ’79, MPP ’84, SD ’87 (Leadership in Public Health Practice Award), and Royce Ellen Clifford, MPH ’06, and Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba, MPH ’03 (Public Health Innovator Awards).
The 2013 Alumni Weekend celebrated the six reunion classes with years ending in 3 or 8, ranging from the 10th to the 50th, with special seating at the Centennial dinner. The six reunion classes were robust participants in alumni giving, contributing to the School at a rate more than 50% higher than the overall alumni giving percentage. Reunion committee members in attendance included: Theo Abelin and Donald Rosato (1963); Bethania Blanco (1973); Neil Numark (1983); Lori DiPrete Brown (1988); Anita Jackson (1993); and Kerstin Gentsch, Susanna Jacobus, and Karine Martirosyan (2003).
Reception at APHA
In addition to the flagship events on November 2, nearly 200 people, including alumni, faculty, and students gathered for a reception at the Exchange Conference Center on the Boston Fish Pier during the APHA meeting on November 4. After a day of conference panels, attendees enjoyed an evening of networking and heard a talk from Dean Frenk, in which he read from a letter, placed in the School’s Centennial time capsule, written to the School’s future dean in 2063. “In the process of institution-building,” he read, “each generation has one overriding responsibility: to safeguard the legacy it has received from previous generations and hand it enriched to the next one.” The evening concluded with a video of U2’s Bono and The Edge performing a birthday song specially penned for the School’s Centennial.
Photos by Kent Dayton